April 7: Ruth 1-4
1 In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, 5 and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
Ruth 1:1-5 and 22
1 Now Naomi had a relative of her husband's, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.
1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”
13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Because I have already written a devotion on Ruth on my devotional website, I am going to focus this devotion on Naomi.
What does the Bible tell us about Naomi? In the time of famine, she, her husband, and their two sons left Bethleham and moved to the land of Moab. When the boys grew older, both of them married Moabite women. Both of Naomi's sons and her husband died there, so Naomi made plans to return to Bethlehem. Her daughter-in-law, Ruth, insisted on returning to Bethlehem with her.
After their return to Bethlehem, Naomi encouraged Ruth to seek out a kinsman redeemer, Boaz, who had shown kindness to both her and Ruth. Boaz took Ruth to be his wife; God blessed their marriage with a son, who became the grandfather of David. Take a moment and reread Ruth 4:13-17 shown above.
I would like to take the liberty of making a simple application of this event to our lives today. As Christians we are prone to take many turns in life that move us farther from God, just as Naomi and her family did when they moved to Moab. However, there is no place on this earth where we are too out of reach for God.
When we return to the Lord, as Naomi did to Bethlehem, our fellowship with God is restored. In the end God blessed Naomi more than at the beginning of her life, by providing a son through Ruth. The line of Naomi and Ruth continued on to David, and eventually to Christ. What a great and marvelous God we have!
God gave to Ruth a kinsman redeemer, Boaz. Did you know that we, like Ruth, also have a Kinsman Redeemer, Christ the Lord? Before we became Christians, we were foreigners in a distant land, but Christ, our Redeemer, brought us from that foreign land into his home, where we will live forever.
Take time today to thank God for the great salvation he has wrought on your behalf.
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible